Are you searching for a convenient hydroponic system that is easy to maintain and one that will give you incredible results when growing different plants? You’ve come to the right spot because that’s exactly what we’re going to reveal in this article.
This guide will show you how you can plant your seeds in a compact hydroponic system known as the bubbleponic system. As compared to other hydroponic systems, this method provides better plant yields and quicker harvest. Before we go into details about the bubbleponic system, let us first explain how hydroponic systems work.
What Are Hydroponic Systems?
Hydroponic is a process that involves growing plants in water without using soil. The good thing about this system is that plants grow at a faster rate as compared to when you are growing plants in the soil. Apart from that, it provides better plant yields as compared to soil gardening. There are different types of hydroponic systems that include water culture, wick system, drip, Nutrient Fill Technology, aeroponic and bubbleponic systems.
What Is a Bubbleponic System?
This is a system using which plants are grown by hanging the plants’ roots into a nutrient solution. This solution contains large amounts of oxygen that are generated from the air stones. Thanks to this kind of set up, your plants are sure to get the required amount of oxygen and nutrients. It’s also one of the best hydroponic systems for beginners because of the following:
- Compact size is one of the major benefits of bubbleponic systems. This makes them the best for beginners that have limited space.
- Easy to maintain. Another thing you’re going to love about this system is that it’s super easy to maintain. You can even purchase a premade system if you don’t have the time or skills to set it up on your own.
- Rich in nutrients. As compared to other hydroponic systems, the bubbleponic system provides high levels of nutrients to the roots of the plants. As a result, the plants provide better yields, and they grow faster.
How Does Bubbleponics Work?
In the bubbleponic system, the roots of the plants are immersed inside a reservoir that contains a nutrient-rich solution. The plant roots are supported by net pots, and they’re also secured by air stones that act as the main growing media. These air stones are usually made of clay.
The good thing about air stones is that they are highly porous and are also lightweight. As a result, they provide enough oxygen to the plants as well as structural support.
Air tubes are also important components because they help deliver the nutrient solution to the plant. An air pump is used to push the nutrient solution to the roots.
Once you’ve set up a bubbleponic system, you’ll need to check the plants every day. You also need to set it up in a convenient way that allows you to look inside. Here’s an important thing for you to consider. Make sure the pipes are connected properly to the net pots. Don’t forget to check whether the nutrient solution is dripping from the pots. Nothing should be floating in the nutrient solution. This will allow you to detect problems easily when they happen.
The other thing you need to be careful about is the pH, especially when you’re changing the solution in the reservoir. Different plants require different levels of pH, and this means that you need to know the correct pH that suits the type of plants you are growing.
What Equipment Do You Need for a Bubbleponic System?
Some of the equipment you will need include:
- A reservoir. You can use a bucket or a storage bin.
- Net pots such as Hydrofarm HG10MEWSHPOT 10- Inch
- Air stones such as Pawfly 2 pc 4 x2-IOnch Large Air Stones Cylinder for Hydroponic Systems.
- 24-hour timer like the BN-LINK BND-60/U47 Indoor Mini 24-Hour Mechanical Outlet Timer
- pH Testing kit. You can use Vivosun Ph and TDS Meter Combo, 0.05ph since it is very accurate.
- Drip Manifold. It helps split the water from the pump to each net pot. DIG AD6 6 Outlet Adjustable Manifold on ½” FPT is among the best.
- Air pump like the ECO Plus 728310 Pump, 396 GPH.
- Hydroponic Nutrients. You can use General Hydroponics 718120 FloraMicro, 1 Quart.
- Water level indicator.
- Air tubing.
Lighting Tips and Nutrients Use
In a bubbleponic system, you should keep the lights off until the seedlings start to sprout. After this, you can provide them with enough light for a period of 18-24 hours per day. You should do this until they reach the flowering stage. During this stage, you should provide them with lights throughout.
When setting up the light bulbs, they should be at least 4 inches from the plants. You can also use palms to determine the amount of heat that is reaching the plants to protect them from excess heat.
Due to the compact nature of bubbleponic systems, you should avoid using lights that provide a lot of heat. Instead, you should use small LED lights that provide red, white, and blue lights for the different stages of the plant’s growth.
What Are the Benefits of Using LED Lights in Bubbleponic Systems?
When growing plants in hydroponic setups, LED lights are the best because of the following:
- Longer lifespan. One of the major reasons why you should use LED lights in your bubbleponic system is because they last longer than other lights. Most of them last for more than 50,000 hours, while the HIOD bulbs only last for 10,000 to18,000 hours.
- Cool temperatures. As compared to the HID bulbs, LED lights do not produce a lot of heat. This means that they cannot damage the plants due to excess heat. They are also less likely to cause fire hazards. However, you should not place them too close to the plants.
- Cost-saving. Another major benefit of these lights is that they don’t consume a lot of power. This means that you don’t have to worry about high electricity bills.
- Small size. The other thing you’ll love about LED lights is that they can fit even in very tight spaces. This makes them the best for bubbleponic systems.
When it comes to nutrients, the clones and the seedlings require only a quarter of the recommended amounts for the first week. After that, you should add a quarter of the nutrients every three days until the leaves start to develop. You should avoid overfeeding the plants with more nutrients during the initial stages because this can cause damages to the plants.
You can easily know when you have added more nutrients than required because the tips of the leaves will start changing their color to brown or yellow. During the vegetative stage, the plants grow faster, which means that they need more nutrients. In order to get the best results, you should use the required amounts of nutrients every day.
Flowering is another important stage for all plants, and it takes 2-3 weeks. You should keep changing the plant solution every week as you examine the roots for any color change.
Best Plants to Grow with a Bubbleponic System
Some of the plants that can do well in a bubbleponic system include
- Salad Greens
Benefits of Bubbleponics as Compared to the Deep Water Culture
There is no major difference between Deep Water Culture (DWC) and bubbleponic systems. However, bubbleponic systems require drip irrigation feeding tubes that help distribute nutrients solution to the plant roots. Thus, they are more effective than DWC systems. On the other hand, most Deep Water Culture systems only use air pumps that deliver nutrient solutions to the plants. Features of DWC:
- The increased growth rate, which takes place within hours.
- When using deepwater systems, some roots may take a long time to grow. This means that they’ll take a lot of time to reach the nutrient solution. On the other hand, plants that are grown in the bubbleponic system have uninterrupted access to water.
Pros of Bubbleponic Systems
- One of the major benefits of this system is that it provides better yields due to the high amounts of nutrients fed to the plants.
- If you don’t have enough space, this system will be ideal because it doesn’t require a lot of space.
- As compared to other hydroponic systems, bubbleponic plants grow faster.
- It is easy to maintain once you have set up the system.
- Bubbleponic systems are less likely to get pests and other bugs.
- Small containers can support large plants since the water does not take a lot of space.
Cons of Bubbleponic Systems
- Setting up a bubbleponic system can be more challenging than when you are using soil.
- It subjects the plant’s roots to problems such as root rots and other root problems.
- If you want your plants to grow fast, you need to ensure that the temperatures are at the required levels. This might be a bit challenging, especially if you don’t have a reliable exhaust system such as the Terrabloom ECMF-100, 4” Inline Duct Fan with 0-100% Speed Controlled EC Motor, which you can use to control the heat.
Hopefully, you’ve learned a lot from this tutorial. If you’ve been searching for a convenient way of growing different plants in water, you should consider having a bubbleponic system. The good thing about these systems is that they are very easy to maintain. Apart from that, they provide better plant yields as compared to other hydroponic systems. However, you need to ensure that you have the various components we’ve mentioned in this article if you want to grow your plants like a boss.
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